Patriots' Day

Boston Marathon Movie: ‘Patriots’ Day,’ Mark Wahlberg Capitalize On Marathon Bombing, Victims

Weren’t you there?

The Boston Marathon movie Patriots’ Day is being filmed in Boston today while the 120th Boston Marathon is underway. Actor and Dorchester native Mark Wahlberg is wearing a police uniform while filming at the finish line — the site of the 2013 bombings.

Wahlberg decided that he wanted to make a movie about the tragic events that occurred in Boston a few years back, telling a dramatized version of the attacks that left three people dead (not counting MIT patrol officer Sean Collier who died days later) and hundreds more injured, many losing limbs.

Mark Wahlberg is playing the role of Boston police Detective Danny Keeler. According to, Keeler was a central part of the investigation following the bombings. The film is going to recreate Marathon Monday, April 15, 2013, when two brothers (Tamerlan and Dzhokhar Tsarnaev) set off two pressure cooker bombs near the finish line. It will also recreate the aftermath of the bombings when authorities, ranging from local police to the FBI, were involved in a manhunt.

Said manhunt was nothing short of frightening for many Massachusetts residents who couldn’t leave their homes due to a city lockdown.

Now, I would say Patriots’ Day shouldn’t be filming on Marathon Monday, but the truth is Patriots’ Day shouldn’t be filmed at all. This Wahlberg vehicle is only the latest example of Hollywood’s sick need to capitalize on tragic events (9/11 is no exception) and make us all relive these horrible days, ignoring the fact that many of us actually lived through them in real time.

Can’t we all just save our newspapers and allow these tragedies to scar over instead of making a production of them for profit?

According to Variety, many bombing victims’ families and bombing survivors are (justifiably) against these types of movies being made.

“‘The Richards would prefer that no movies be made about the bombings at the Boston Marathon,’ said Nancy Sterling, a spokeswoman for the family of 8-year-old Martin Richard, the youngest of the three people killed in the attack.”

However, many don’t see a problem with it at all. Karen Brassard, who was near the bombs and suffered shrapnel wounds to her lower extremities, has “no problem” with Patriots’ Day.

“The Mark Wahlberg story had been out there even before the end of the trial, and I know a lot of people were disturbed by that, but I don’t have a problem with it. It’s a part of history. There were movies about the 9/11 survivors and the heroes of 9/11, and I found those to be interesting.”

Even still, I must ask: Why do the Boston Marathon bombings need to be made into a movie? Moreover, why do Hollywood stars get paid for “acting” like they were a part of these tragedies when there were hundreds (if not thousands) of people who lived through them? Does Patriots’ Day completely disregard the people who were actually at the finish line on April 15, 2013? Or were they just to be exploited as a part of someone’s future paycheck?

While making a film about the Boston Marathon bombings can work to highlight stories of heroism, bravery, and selflessness (which many of us watched live on the news that day, but I digress), it also highlights the work done by two brothers. Without Tamerlan and Dzhokhar Tsarnaev, you have no movie.

Let’s not even talk about Rolling Stone putting Dzhokhar Tsarnaev on the cover of their magazine after his arrest.

It’s hard to say how successful a film like Patriots’ Day will be, given the fact that some will say that it was done “tastefully” and that Mark Wahlberg did his city (which is also my city) proud. Of course, everyone will have their own opinion about this and movies about tragic events will continue to be made. I won’t be watching.

I won’t be watching Patriots’ Day when it is released in December because I live in Boston and I already know what happened on “One Boston Day.”

I wasn’t sitting around eating popcorn while watching the news on April 15, 2013. I was trying to reach family members and friends who were at the marathon. I cried when I saw Boylston street covered in blood. I got angry when I thought about who could have done such a thing. I watched strangers become friends. I prayed for people I didn’t even know.

I witnessed my city rise up with tremendous strength. For a moment, we were all a part of this. We were all one. Nothing else mattered.

Boston Strong.

If Mark Wahlberg can capture even 1/10 of how Bostonians felt that day, he may have done something right.

[Photo by Maddie Meyer/Getty Images]